The perk of being a fan of an apparently terrible team is having to deal with reading trade rumors that make you cringe. It’s bad enough when it comes from some random dude on Twitter. It’s way worse when that dude isn’t random and his name is Elliotte Friedman.
He mentioned that the Vegas Golden Knights may be considering kicking the tires on key forward Brayden Schenn (H/T: Knights on Ice):
The #TradeDeadline will be here before you know it. @FriedgeHNIC names some teams that may make moves. #NHLTonight pic.twitter.com/v0j5eXEUId— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) December 22, 2018
Aside from the disconcerting fact that the Blues are already predicted to be not just sellers but massive sellers, the issue with rumors involving important players is that the Blues are not in a position to actually bargain with other teams for quality returns. Factor in Doug “we got Pheonix Copely!” Armstrong, and this may be a bigger issue come the trade deadline than one would expect.
There hasn’t been a trade deadline or off-season trade deal of a key Blues player that I can remember being a win for Armstrong (note I said “key Blues player.” I do not mean Jori Lehtera, Patrik Berglund, or Vladimir Sobotka). When Armstrong wins trades, he does it with the leverage of the expectation that the Blues are going to be a good team.
He doesn’t have that right now. If the Blues deal, they’re going to be dealing from a place of weakness, which means unloading good players and decent contracts for a minimal short-term impact return. Who knows about the long.